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Allergic To The Drought?

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Sonora, CA — If it feels that those “spring” allergies have settled in to stay and you suspect the drought might be the culprit, chances are, you are correct.

Confirming local suspicions, Tuolumne County Health Officer Liza Ortiz states, “Yes, statewide, we’ve seen an increase in pollen counts in general, over the past several years… the drought is exacerbating that, in California, particularly.” Under these conditions, she adds, “People DO suffer more from their environmental allergies, whether that’s having a stuffy nose, or itchy, watery eyes, or exacerbating asthma or coughing.”

While, over the past few days, air quality has been normal and pollen levels are reading at moderate levels, Ortiz points out that some people react differently and can have exacerbations, even though their neighbors might not. Furthermore, she says, the extended drought conditions have come to affect when we might expect our allergy seasons to begin, end — or simply continue on.

For those suffering, in silence or otherwise, Ortiz advises, “Number One, speak to your doctor. There are plenty of over-the-counter and prescription remedies that can be very effective and can make you feel better, since you won’t be having trouble breathing all day long, and so that can be pills, or nasal sprays or eye drops. If you have another condition, such as asthma, which is exacerbated by your allergies, certainly there are options there.”

For additional relief of symptoms, Ortiz offers this parting advice, “Make sure if you’re suffering from allergies you’re reducing your triggers, including pet dander and household dust, etcetera. For some people, when it’s really severe, sometimes it’s better to stay indoors but that is up to the individual and what might be provoking their allergies.”